Seoul: Thousands of peasants demonstrate in Yeouido, to highlight the agrarian crisis

Nearly 2,500 Korean peasants, including members of the Korean Women Peasants Association (KWPA) and Korean Peasants League (KPL), gathered in front of National Assembly Seoul, South Korea for national peasants rally, condemning Korean government’s indifference to agriculture and peasant issues.

Honouring the spirit of Baek Nam-gi, a peasant who was fatally injured by a water cannon while protesting the Park Geun-hye administration in 2016, peasants from across South Korea called upon the public and the government to recognize the suffering endured by the country’s agricultural community.

The peasants marched the street in Yeouido lifting traditional bier used for funerals, symbolizing what they allege is a ‘death sentence’ issued by the Korean establishment against peasant communities.

The demonstrators had “funeral photos” of various crops to express the slow death being experienced by Korean peasants, while calling for improvements in agricultural policy as well as a type of “unification farming” that facilitates exchange between South Korean farmers and their North Korean counterparts.

The main issues that were highlighted during the demonstration included, 1) abolishing the variable direct payment system for rice, 2) plunging agricultural product price, 3) Abandonment of Status of Developing Countries at WTO.

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